5 UK universities that are change agents for sustainable agriculture

Since the October release of the IPCC Report Global Warming of 1.5 °C, global concern has spread.

As the reality sets in, it’s clear that serious changes must be made to prevent further climate damage.

To preserve the beauty of the natural environment, eco-friendly schools around the UK have evolved into agents of change. By developing curricula with relevant modules and encouraging students to create solutions for real-world issues, there is still hope.

Capitalising on their passions with an education that serves the world, thousands of students are searching for an agricultural course with a purpose.

As the report itself states, “Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.”

Due to human activities, global warming is evidently growing at an alarming rate. If patterns in the global agriculture sector are transformed, there may be a chance of slowing this down.

In recent years, there has been debate surrounding the role of tech and its influence on climate change.

As Asian Correspondent explains, “The consequences of humanity’s disregard for the planet are starting to feel very real for many people. This summer saw wildfires rage through California and large swathes of Europe, Japan was hit by a crippling heatwave followed by devastating floods, Australia experienced – and still is experiencing – its worst drought in living memory and repeated hurricanes have battered the coasts of the United States.”

“Politicians who rail against climate action regularly point to Silicon Valley as our best bet. But is there any reason to think this and can tech really be our planetary saviour?” the article adds.

Despite the constant advancement of technology, we can’t simply rely on one source. There needs to be a joint effort from global companies, universities and community groups to stop climate change.

Sustainable solutions will not simply appear overnight, that’s why it’s essential for the current and next generation of changemakers to be equipped with forward-thinking strategies and agricultural theory.

By promoting sustainable agriculture now, the next IPCC report may be a healthy and promising improvement from the one we saw this year.

Here are 5 leading environmental schools in the UK that act as agents of change…

THE ROYAL AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY (RAU)

Granted the Royal Seal of Approval by Queen Victoria in 1845, The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has been at the forefront of agricultural education and a key contributor to the land-based sector for more than 170 years.

Within walking distance of the bustling town of Cirencester and just a 90-minute train journey to London, RAU’s location is ideal for any international student who wants to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in areas such as agriculture, food security, agribusiness, agrifood, business and enterprise, environment, equine science and management or real estate and rural land management.

Source: RAU

Every learner is treated as an individual and supported by a personal tutor. The University has also established an award-winning Enterprise Programme, a highly-regarded Students’ Union and is helping shape the future with industry-ready graduates.

With the global presence and influence of the RAU alumni network acting as a testament to the institution’s prestige, this is a stimulating learning environment where any student’s skills can flourish.

You can find more information on their website here.

SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE, POLICY AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, UNIVERSITY OF READING

The University of Reading’s School of Agriculture, Policy and Rural Development is planting the seed of sustainable living in every student’s mind.

Knowing the importance of the recent IPCC report, the school’s degree selection dives into essential areas of agriculture such as food production, the sustainability of agro-ecosystems, food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, animal welfare and behaviour and food chains.

As Rebecca Jerrome, School Director of Teaching and Learning explains, “When you join our School you become part of a thriving community of more than 700 undergraduate students from different backgrounds, with varied interests and career ambitions. You will also learn from friendly staff who are internationally experienced leaders in their areas of expertise.”

Assisted by their interdisciplinary university-wide centres, such as the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health and the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, the school is quickly spreading the climate change message.

If you want to spread the message too, find out more here.

COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING, BANGOR UNIVERSITY

Committed to delivering smart solutions to today’s most pressing environmental issues, the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Bangor University is racing ahead with their undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

With strategic research priorities, the college carries out fundamental academic investigations into the biological, chemical and physical sciences of natural systems.

The SEACAMS project integrates physical oceanography, sediment dynamics and ecosystem processes to discover the impact of marine systems on climate change. And with the establishment of the Nuclear Futures Institute at Bangor University, the institution is developing world-leading capabilities in nuclear science and engineering.

Plus, through the school’s longstanding research partnerships with the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and National Oceanography Centre and Aberystwyth University, Bangor is bringing both innovation and value to students’ sustainability projects.

If this sparks your interests and you want to become an integral part of the environmental team at Bangor, check out college’s current courses.

Source: QUB

SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST

In favour of combatting climate change and applying powerful answers to complex challenges, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the School of Biological Sciences is living for the future.

A place where you can put your knowledge into practice, QUB equips agricultural students with the tools they need to tackle current environmental crises.

Courses at this school enable students to think of the bigger picture. Through its Food Safety and Nutrition degrees, you’ll focus on contemporary food, animal and human health issues pertaining to agriculture and food industries.

Through its Microbes and Pathogen Biology degrees, you’ll understand how genetically-modified microbes are used to combat pests and disease in crops without the need for chemical sprays, as well as how valuable products like insulin for diabetes and vaccines against diseases are made cheaply by modified microbes.

QUB’s doors are always open for further discovery.

SCOTLAND’S RURAL COLLEGE (SRUC)

Leading the way in agri-rural research, education and consultancy, the SRUC is making a positive impact on the lives of international students and the world itself.

Supporting your agricultural study adventure with a diverse array of academic disciplines such as animal science, biological sciences, the countryside, the environment, equine and horse care, forestry and arboriculture, garden design, hospitality & cookery, land-based engineering and organic farming, there’s a course for everyone here.

With impressive international connections and a prime focus on work-based learning, SRUC is an exciting and practical way for students to gain hands-on industry skills and to take their environmental experience to the next level.

You may also join a community and culture of confident and successful students with the SRUC Students’ Association. Focused on enhancing opportunities for students to further develop their experience with effective communication skills and engagement activities, the Scottish Agriculture College is every environmental student’s go-to study destination!

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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